FAIRMONT - Emily Mantor does not hold a spot in the Class A preseason individual cross country rankings, but the United South Central junior standout made a strong bid for one during Friday's Early Bird Invitational in Fairmont.
Mantor covered the 4,000-meter course in 14 minutes, 37.6 seconds to capture the girls overall crown and paced the No. 6-ranked Rebels' first-place team showing during southern Minnesota's season-opening road race.
In fact, Mantor's time proved the third fastest overall during the nine-team competition, with only New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva junior T.J. Schiltz (13:23.0) and No. 10-ranked St. James senior Johnathan Surber (13:34.7) crossing the finish line sooner.
ON?COURSE — Fairmont’s Katiana Fischer (left) and the Cardinals’ Kaleb Linse (right) run side-by-side during the midway juncture of a 4,000-meter run at the Early Bird Invitational cross country meet Friday near Fairmont High School Fischer went on to capture fourth place overall in the girls’ portion of the season-opening meet. Photo by Charlie Sorrells
Freshman Bethany Koziolek posted a time of 16:25.5 to place second overall in the girls' division to pack scoring punch to USC's winning ways, while senior teammate Hannah Goemann crossed the finish line in 16:58.0 to capture fifth in the girls ranks.
Sophomore Amber Klein (17:57.5) and freshman Tikvah Schwartz (18:03.1) rounded out the Rebels' top five counting times.
"USC came into today's meet ranked sixth in the Class A girls preseason state poll, so we expected them to be tough," said Fairmont head coach Bob Bonk, whose Cardinal girls lineup captured second-place honors on the strength of sophomore standout Katiana Fischer's fourth-place overall showing. "Obviously, I'm happy about Kati winning the sophomore (girls) race.
"We're a young team with a lot of possibilities to improve as the season progresses. I thought for just coming out of the chute, the girls ran a very respectable race. After Kati, the girls did a nice job of bunching their times."
Sophomore Sarah Ostlie, who logged more than 350 miles during the summer, delivered Fairmont's second-best girls' time by finishing in 18:27.7, while eighth-grader Jenna Pavich made her varsity debut by running an 18:32.9.
Freshman Sarah Bartz, also a member of the Cardinals' 350-mile offseason club, delivered an 18:38.0, while sophomore Jaclyn Friese rounded out the counting times with an 18:56.9.
Freshmen Taylor Grandgenett and Shayna Stevermer, key members of Blue Earth Area's 2012 True Team state track & field team, engineered the Bucs' third-place team showing in the girls bracket. Grandgenett posted a team-best time of 17:30.2, while Shayna Stevermer netted an 18:29.6.
The junior trio of Sierra Halvorson, Jenna Stevermer and Anna Aukes completed Blue Earth Area's counting times in 18:57.4, 20:24.6 and 21:24.5, respectively.
While the Cardinals and Bucs placed Nos. 2 and 3 in the girls division, Blue Earth Area and Fairmont netted fifth and sixth, respectively, during the boys' competition.
Mike Ankeny won the sophomore 4K race with a time of 14:47.2 to earn a fourth-place overall showing in the boys' bracket to pace the Bucs' team effort.
Freshman Adam Buseman produced a time of 16:49.7 for Blue Earth Area, while junior John Lee (17:40.1), freshman Zach Vaske (17:43.0) and sophomore Nick Shure (17:54.6) rounded out the team's performance.
Marcus Larson led the way for the short-handed Fairmont boys squad, taking sixth place in the senior race via a team-best time of 15:51.7.
"We were missing some of our runners on the boys' side, but I thought we competed hard today," said Bonk, whose lineup was missing Josiah Johnson, Payton Schlomann, Andrew Johnson, Cole Huinker and Ben Huinker due to prior commitments. "We're a work in progress, and will continue to improve as the season goes on."
Sophomore Kaleb Linse turned in a time of 16:41.1 to place second on the Cardinals' team behind Larson, while junior Christopher Poush crossed the finish line in 17:14.5. Junior Harley Luhmann (17:40.1) and junior Riley Higgins (18:24.9) completed Fairmont's counting boys scores.
Sophomore Zuriel Chacon generated a time of 15:15.1 to pack scoring punch to Surber's runner-up overall honors for St. James, while senior Richy Soto chipped in a 15:24.2. Freshman Noah Pinke (16:12.9) and junior Tyler Witcraft (16:14.9) rounded out the Saints' team triumph.
Fairmont and Blue Earth Area compete at the Wolverine Classic at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Mountain Lake Golf Course in Mountain Lake.
2012 EARLY BIRD INVITE
At Fairmont High School
Varsity Girls (4K)
Team Standings (Top 5 individual times): 1. United South Central; 2. Fairmont; 3. Blue Earth Area; 4. St. James; 5. Le Sueur-Henderson. Incomplete: Jackson County Central, Medford, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva and St. Peter.
Individual Girls Results
Top 5 Overall: 1. Emily Mantor (USC) 14:37.6; 2. Bethany Koziolek (USC) 16:25.5; 3. Jadin Bezdicek (JCC) 16:47.0; 4. Katiana Fischer (Fairmont) 16:51.7; 5. Hannah Goemann (USC) 16:58.0.
Fairmont (Top 5): Katiana Fischer 16:51.7; Sarah Ostlie 18:27.7; Jenna Pavich 18:32.9; Sarah Bartz 18:38.0; Jaclyn Friese 18:56.9.
Other Fairmont runners: Anna Hernes 19:23.7; Sasha Riley 19:35.1; Molly Hawkins 19:51.8; Emily Haugen 19:53.8; Miranda Mathiason 21:28.6; Emilee Moeller 21:41.2; Rachel Botzet 24:53.0; Julie Fleming 24:54.4; Matelyn Schultz 38:06.0.
B.E. Area (Top 5): Taylor Grandgenett 17:30.2; Shayna Stevermer 18:29.6; Sierra Halvorson 18:57.4; Jenna Stevermer 20:24.6; Anna Aukes 21:24.5.
Other B.E. Area runners: Meredith Hagedorn 21:48.7; Makenzei Slette 22:13.8; Rowan Hacken 22:17.1; Nyla Anderson 22:22.8; Mara Fenske 22:25.1; Autumn Foster 22:37.7; Josselyn Martinez 24:47.6; Cythia Johnson 25:31.7; Alexis Brooks 27:50.3; Madeline Jenkins 30:31.3.
Varsity Boys (4K)
Team Standings (Top 5 individual times): 1. St. James; 2. LSH; 3. USC; 4. JCC; 5. Blue Earth Area; 6. Fairmont; 7. St. Peter. Incomplete: Medford and NRHEG.
Individual Boys Results
Top 5 Overall: 1. T.J. Schiltz (NRHEG) 13:23.0; 2. Johnathan Surber (SJ) 13:34.7; 3. Nick Pietila (SP) 14:42.3; 4. Mike Ankeny (BEA) 14:47.2; 5. Zach Grieves (LSH) 14:53.3.
Fairmont (Top 5): Marcus Larson 15:51.7; Kaleb Linse 16:41.1; Christopher Poush 17:14.5; Harley Luhmann 17:40.1; Riley Higgins 18:24.9.
Other Fairmont runner: Colin Meadows 20:05.5.
B.E. Area (Top 5): Mike Ankeny 14:47.2; Adam Buseman 16:49.7; John Lee 17:40.1; Zach Vaske 17:43.0; Nick Shure 17:54.6.
Other B.E. Area runners: Nick Lein 18:05.3; Jakob Thomsen 18:12.6; Jose Rios 20:23.4; John Lindsey 20:48.5; Cage Johnson 28:23.5; Ike Zebedee 32:40.5.
8th-Grade (1 Mile)
1. Tommy Velasco (SJ) 5:31.3; 2. Chris Mulholland (USC) 5:33.4; 3. Seth Becker (BEA) 5:59.3.
Fairmont runner: 20. Jaxson Jurgens 7:30.5.
6th-7th Grades (1 Mile)
1. Dakota Wiersma (Medford) 6:04; 2. Braeden Thompson (NRHEG) 6:04.6; 3. Andy Schultz (USC) 6:19.4.
Fairmont runners: 4. Chris Lebert 6:21.0; Andrew Moeller 6:25.3; 6. Hannah Johnson 6:25.6; 10. Lizzy Subbert 6:34.1; 12. Megan Hawkins 6:42.0; 17. Zoey Roggow 6:49.2; 19. Grace Higgins 7:01.8; 20. Seth Carlmark 7:04.0; 22. Emma Koehler 7:10.0; 24. Adam Carstensen 7:11.4; 27. Alyssa Fetters 7:15.4; 28. Rose Lueth 7:23.8; 29. Anna Sundblad 7:27.8; 30. Bethany Linse 7:28.1; 32. Lexi Fischer 7:31.7; 33. Madison Pierce 7:36.9; 34. Noah Wolter 7:41.4; 36. Jed Slater 7:45.4; 42. Dylan Muller 7:57.7; 43. Taylor Driehorst 8:00.4; 44. Wil Hillmer 8:02.9; 45. Dayton Pasch 8:05.4; 47. Annie Mittelstadt 8:08.0; 49. Anna Nordquist 8:10.5.